Traveler Assignment Timelines: What Every Healthcare Traveler Should Know

Whether you’re a seasoned healthcare traveler, or just getting ready for your first assignment, thorough planning can help ensure a smooth assignment process from beginning to end. From the best time to start looking for your new assignment to when to talk about extensions and everything in between, there is a travel healthcare timeline you can follow for success. Here’s a breakdown of what travelers can expect throughout their journey.


Two Months Out – Initial Research

Two months out is when you want to start looking for an assignment. Do some initial research on locations you want to check out, make sure your credentials are up to date, and reach out to different agencies to search for your perfect recruiter.

One thing to keep in mind that can affect your travel healthcare timeline is what states you want to go to and where your licensing is valid. If you belong to a compact state, you should be able to travel anywhere that is also a part of the compact license with ease. However, there are some states not a part of the compact license that can take over 6 weeks to be approved and take effect.

You can check out our job map to learn more about what states are a part of the compact license, and how long license processing times are for your specialty if not. Knowing this information will help you better time out your assignment search.


One Month Out – Pre-Assignment Logistics

Around one month out is when you want to conduct your interviews and narrow down where you want to accept. This will give you enough time to start working out travel plans and start looking for housing in the area. If you can’t find housing right away, don’t be afraid to rent a hotel for the first week or two while you look. This way you can get to know the area in person and know what’s nearby your facility and in a good area.

Don’t forget to hold your mail, get your home ready for you to leave on a long assignment, and update loved ones with your new address!


First Two Weeks – Getting Acclimated

In order to have the most successful assignment, we recommend hitting the ground running for the first two weeks of your assignment. Go through onboarding and ask all your questions, really immerse yourself in the new environment and your new role. Get to know your coworkers and challenge yourself to invite one of them out for drinks after work.

Find what grocery store you want to frequent for the next 13 weeks and create a list filled with must-dos and sees while in town. One of the best parts of becoming a traveler is getting to experience different cultures and explore new cities – leave no corner left unsearched! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Six Weeks In – Almost halfway through!

Loving your assignment? 5-6 weeks into your travel healthcare timeline is the perfect time to let your recruiter know that you’re thinking about extending. They can talk to the facility and get the ball rolling. On the other hand, this is also the ideal time to let your recruiter know you aren’t loving the assignment, and don’t want to extend it.

This is because when your assignment is halfway done – this is when you want to start looking for your next assignment. Looking even a little bit before the halfway point can even be helpful and help you beat out any other travelers when applying for other jobs! Just be open with your recruiter about how you’re feeling and what you’re looking for.


13 Weeks – Taking a Break

Being a traveler means having the freedom and flexibility to choose when you take an assignment or not. You can do back-to-back assignments or choose to take an extended break.

If you are thinking of taking an extended break in between assignments – just be upfront with your recruiter. Your best bet is to try and book your next assignment before you take the time off. This way you can fully enjoy your time off and not have to worry about completing onboarding items on time.  If your next assignment is too far out – your recruiter can still set up a timeline for you of when you need to check in and get started.


Understanding and following this timeline can help to maximize your enjoyment as a traveler and get the most out of your assignment. However, this timeline is not set in stone and flexibility is important. If you’re looking for your next adventure, we’d love to help! Find a recruiter today and we can get started helping you o



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